Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Blessing in Disguise: a birth story

I know I didn't blog all month, but you have to forgive me - being 9 months pregnant and hating everything and all ;) It'll probably be a while before I really get back into blogging anyway. Three kids take up a lot of time! :)

My new little girl was born three days ago and I can't stop thinking about how lucky we were.
I had been having false labor for about a week. Nothing makes you crankier than false labor. Saturday night I thought my water broke so we went in but the ph test said no. I was also 50% effaced and 2cm dilated. I really thought I'd at least be a three but was sent home. Bummer. Sunday morning though I had some physical signs that labor was about 24 hours away. There was also some very personal/spiritual signs as well so we started getting excited. I had been having some pretty strong contractions, they still weren't regular, but I was getting hopeful. Here's where things get interesting.
Sunday
1:00 pm - decide to go to church. Walk around the corridors with a fussy toddler most of the time praying for contractions. I think I had 1.
1:45 - take the toddler home where she strips off her dress, grabs her blanky and heads for bed. I decide to do the same.
4:00 - decided napping was just what I needed because I now feel awful. Stomach cramps and back pains and all kinds of fun stuff.
6:00 - I feel like I have food poisoning, minus the expelling bodily fluids part. I am so nauseous!!!
7:00 - You don't feel this awful unless you're having a baby, right?! Call grandma to come watch the kids. Meanwhile I head to the shower to help relieve my body aches.
7:15 - I have the shower as hot as I can stand it and I am shivering my butt off.
7:30 - out of shower head back to bed.
7:45 - finally dawns on me that I really feel like I've been poisoned. In bed with many layers of blankets and shaking like crazy.
7:46 - ah. Fever of 102.5. That would explain it. Midwife tells me to get my butt to labor and delivery.
8:00 - grandma arrives and my butt heads to the hospital.
8:05 - "honey, remember when my heart really, really hurt with my last pregnancy? because it's doing that now."
8:20 - arrive at the hospital. Temp is still really high and blood pressure is 84/42 rapid heart rate. Baby's heart looks good though. Well that's at least a relief! Hooked up to IV for antibiotics just in case. Blood and urine tests ordered.
8:30 - feel too sick to watch the Lost finale. I know. That's serious.
9:00 - apparently I'm massively dehydrated and my WBC count is high. Baby's heart doesn't look as good as we thought. She keeps having decelerations. They'll keep watching baby; hope IV helps raise bp and lower temperature. We then remember that dehydration makes pericardial effusions (what I had last pregnancy) dangerously worse. Apparently that came back.
9:30 - okay, there's only 30 min left but what the heck, now I feel good enough to watch Lost!!
10:00 - ummm. That was a weird ending.
11:00pm - told that baby's heart rate is getting worse. I'm being admitted and induced at 6am. I still feel crummy but now I'm getting really worried.
2:00am - 6am isn't early enough. Baby keeps looking worse so they decide to induce me now. Midwife breaks my water and real contractions start. Ow! I'm already nauseous and miserable and no desire to be a martyr, get me an epidural! (while keeping a close watch on my still ridiculously low blood pressure).
2:05 - ow! ... ow! ... ow! ...
2:15 - they decide to add pitocin to speed things up.
2:16- OW! OW! OW!
2:20 - turn off pitocin.
2:30 - anesthesiologist arrives. Bless him. The best part? I can feel everything except pain. I can move my legs, feel my abdomen, everything. Love this epidural.
3:00 - Now I remember why I didn't want an epidural. Holy itching batman! Try and sleep anyway.
4:30 - I'm 5cm and need to start dilating faster. They give me another hour. Fever is now gone!!
5:30 - 5 1/2cm. Someone mentions c-section. I roll onto my left side because, well, it just felt right.
5:40 - 6cm
5:50 - 8cm I can feel each time a contraction opens my cervix more and yet it doesn't hurt. This is beyond cool!
6:00 - 10cm!! They tell me I need to get her out and be a good pusher. They think the cord is wrapped around her neck and that's what's causing her heart decels.
6:18 - My sweet little girl is here! The cord was wrapped around her shoulder. Once she's out she looks pink and healthy and beautiful!

What was so amazing to us is that after she was born I felt fine. It took a day for my blood pressure to return to normal (it kept being 80/30 ish) but everything else was gone. They have no idea what I had. But if I didn't have it, we never would have known our baby was having problems. We feel so lucky!
I've heard much more amazing stories than that, but we feel extremely blessed and know that the Lord was looking after our family. I truly felt angels with us in the hospital. It really is a miracle when any baby makes it into the world, right?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Really Purging the "Stuff"

Ever since that conversation hubby and I had in November, we have been slowly eliminating things from our lives. I should clarify that, because it's not just physical things, but activities, thoughts, and attitudes as well. I have to admit, the physical things are easier than the others.

The last few months have been incredible! I feel like Mr. Small House and I are dating again with the wonderful conversations we've been having. We're really trying to find who we are and who we want to be both individually and as a family and it's exciting!

We're reading more books about things we always wanted to try or learn about.

We're working outside more. With less distractions, we've found we both really do love yard work. Mr. Small House has been building a rock wall in the back and has taken over building garden beds. We love making compost! And I really enjoy taking care of my garden beds. I like the construction side too, but can't do much of it while 9 months pregnant. :)

Unused craft/scrapbook stuff is gone and no longer nagging at my mind. This one has made me so happy!

We got rid of any child's toy that requires batteries. I'm so tired of the obnoxiousness! I think we got rid of at 75% of the kids toys and now they actually use the playroom. What a novel concept! They were also so distracted by the stuff around them that they couldn't focus. It was like their brains were overstimulated into paralysis. I've seen that happen when we used to let our son play video games. It was really kind of scary watching him.

Any music, movies, or books that weren't something we'd want our kids seeing are gone. No more zombies, no more tv seasons or movies with questionable content we just excused. I should be honest. Most of them are gone. 90%. Sometimes you have to do baby steps. While most of the "teenage" music is gone, I can't quite yet part with my Guns & Roses (despite not listening to them in at least 6 years!)

As of this week the boy is no longer going to preschool. It was a fun preschool my friend ran but it changed our morning routine and walking him there has become a stress for me and therefore a stress for everyone. It meant a tantrum three days a week from his little sister. It's not worth it. Hopefully things will work out well for kindergarten in a few months!

I'm trying to really evaluate my life and the things in it; asking some hard questions. Why is it there? Do I like who I am with it? Does it lead me to something I want or away from it? Does it drain my energy? Do I keep it/do it for someone else? It's really interesting asking these questions about the habits and the people in your life, by the way.

I could keep going, but hopefully you get the idea. All these things I let take up room in my life have kept me from becoming who I really want to be. I am noticing so many small differences in how I think and behave just because I don't have as many distractions. I know the big changes will take a lot more effort on my part, but life has really improved just from this. I've noticed from reading other blogs that this is something a lot of families are doing. My friend Emily is probably the one that got me thinking about it. If you are decluttering your life right now, what are your reasons? Is it working?

Bountiful Baskets

If you live in Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Washington, or Idaho, you need to try out Bountiful Baskets. It's a food co-op that I was finally able to try last week after weeks of missed opportunities. You have to be quick because slots go FAST. I missed this week :( but I took a picture of the food I picked up last Saturday (it varies every week).
Here's what I got for $15: 2 celery stalks, a lot of bananas, a bag of yummy apples, oranges,
tomatoes, red potatoes, baby carrots, spinach, romaine, pineapple, blackberries, and swiss chard. The quality was what really got me. This is the stuff the grocery stores get only you know it hasn't been sitting on the shelf for a few days. That makes a difference! We've been eating all of this instead of wasting half of it like we usually do with produce. I'm not sure if it's because of the fresh taste or what.... And I loved being surprised!
I've never eaten swiss chard before now. I tried it 3 ways: #1 I sauteed it with garlic, oil and lemon. Pretty good. The stalk is sweet and the leaf is bitter, sort of like spinach. It reminded me of asian food (maybe that was the garlic). #2 I ate it fresh in a salad with the romaine and spinach. I didn't even taste it. #3 I used it in place of spinach for a green smoothie. I know I wrote about those on facebook, like a year ago, but I should've written about them here. I love green smoothies!! Essentially you grab a handful of spinach (or in this case a couple of chard leaves peeled from the stalk) and put them in your blender. Add about 2 cups of oj and blend it up. The oj makes it so you don't taste the greens at all. Then add whatever fruit you want. I like bananas because they make it smooth. And fresh blueberries are incredible with it. Try it! It's one of the ways I sneak leafy greens into my kid's diets.